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Williamsburg on a roll! Two new bike shops put Billyburg ahead of the Slope

The Brooklyn Paper

Williamsburg is riding high — over Park Slope.

The battle of bike-friendly neighborhoods has reached a new phase as two new bicycle shops opened in North Brooklyn within the past month — moving the cycling saturation point away from the Slope and towards the Burg.

Silk Road Cycles opened on Franklin Street after Memorial Day, two weeks after Landmark Bicycles landed on Bedford Avenue — bringing the total number of bike shops in Williamsburg to eight and beating Park Slope by one.

Silk Road’s Brendon Nicholas is not surprised — he argues that Williamsburg has more commuters while the Slope is riddled with “club riders” who train for cycling races or travel in packs like feral mammals around Prospect Park.

“You don’t have as much here, you have more leisurely riding where people ride out to the beach on a road bike,” said Nicholas. “We’re seeing the trend toward single speed bicycles with breaks — bicycles that coast.”

But commuting is still the primary reason Slopers ride low, according to Bicycle Habitat’s Charlie McCorkell, who said he has sold 132 bikes at his shop since it opened in May.

“We’ve seen a lot of commuters, mostly we’ve sold street bikes to people who want to ride it every day,” said McCorkell.

Williamsburg has long been home to the city’s most committed commuters.

More than 6,200 people ride over the Williamsburg Bridge each day according to city transportation studies — nearly equaling the number of riders who cross either the Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge each day.

As transportation costs for driving and taking the subway have risen, more people have been turning to their bicycles to get them around the city.

But the mindset between neighborhoods remains different.

Bike shops in Williamsburg and Greenpoint sell many fixed gears and single speeds while Park Slope shops often sell 21 to 27 speeds to riders who need to climb the neighborhood’s hills.

McCorkell says he sells more child seats in Park Slope than at his SoHo store, which does four times the business of his Brooklyn store.

“In Williamsburg you don’t get the 35-year-old male, you get the 26-year-old male — you don’t get the mother who wants to ride with their kid,” said McCorkell. “Williamsburg is a committed biking community, but it tends to be single people.”

But Nicholas attributes the rise of cycling in Williamsburg to another factor — protected bike lanes on Kent Avenue and Franklin Street, which connect commuters to the borough’s bridges.

“The Franklin-Kent bike lane is very popular with commuters,” said Nicholas. “Having an actual lane that’s painted green is pretty safe.”

Bicycle Habitat [476 Fifth Ave. at 10th Street in Park Slope, (718) 788-2543]. For info, visit www.bicyclehabitat.com; Silk Road Cycles [76 Franklin St. at Calyer Street in Greenpoint, (718) 389-2222]. For info, visit www.silkroadcycles.com; Landmark Bicycles [376 Bedford Ave. between S. Fourth and S. Fifth streets in Williamsburg, (347) 799-2116]. For info, visit www.landmarkbicycles.com.

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Bike Ridin Bob from Park Slope says:
Williamsburg also has the benefit of not having Chuck Schumer and pals creating law suits with totally cooked accusations opposing a tremendously safe bike lane so they can have more double parking. Then again, Williamsburg does have the Hasidim running bike riders off the road and painting over bike lanes for their own twisted reasons...let's just call it a draw on the the selfish flakes ticket.
June 22, 2011, 1:19 pm
Nmae from Greenpoint says:
Silk Roads is in Greenpoint not Williamsburg.

Shouldn't a Brooklyn paper know where each neighborhood is?
June 22, 2011, 1:37 pm
Steve from PPW says:
"More than 6,200 people ride over the Williamsburg Bridge each day according to city transportation studies — nearly equaling the number of riders who cross either the Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge each day."

If the same number of people are riding from Park Slope /Carroll Gardens/etc. and going over the two available bridges as the number of people riding from Williamsburg/Greenpoint/Bushwick over the available one, how can you say that one area is "home to the city’s most committed commuters."

And, yeah, thank Iris Weinshall and Chuck Schumer for making biking a little harder around here and elsewhere in Brooklyn.
June 22, 2011, 1:39 pm
Nmae from Neighborhood says:
People keep writing articles like bike commuting in Brooklyn is something new. It"s not.

In the early 90's bike commuting from Greenpoint was more of a necessity than a transportation choice. Taking the G train took forever (and was a nightmare) and the Gold Card didn't exist yet so bus/subway transfer was double fare. So you either rode into the city, to the L train in WillyB or the 7 train in LIC. There were always lots of bikes locked up at the Bedford L of people who rode there from all over...
June 22, 2011, 2:23 pm
Thecandidsate from Williamsburg says:
here we go again, "over 6200 people ride over the Williamsburg Bridge each day according to City Transportation" DOT and Transportation Alternative know how to fabricate numbers.

let them produce where they got the 6200, date and time and what amchine counted them, its all to just get federal grants for bike lanes.

Pure ——
June 22, 2011, 6:26 pm
mike from GP says:
@Thecandidate:

Frankly, you're an idiot. DOT has been doing bike counts on the bridges and other major spots for decades. In fact, there's been a traffic counter on the Willy B bike path for the past few months.
June 22, 2011, 9:53 pm
Jeff from Greenpoint says:
Silk Road Cycles is in Greenpoint and Bicycle Habitat is in Gowanus. "Your neighborhood - your news" do you even know the neighborhoods?
June 22, 2011, 11:16 pm
ty from pps says:
Thecandidate --

Have you ever been to the Manhattan Bridge at rush hour? And throughout the day... It's a constant stream of bicycles. THAT'S where the DOT gets its numbers. Ya know, from reality.
June 22, 2011, 11:52 pm
Dave from Park Slope says:
Yeah, nobody bikes, that's why all the bikes are ruining New York City.
June 23, 2011, 10:32 am
Abe from Clinton Hill says:
mike from GP... calling somebody an idiot is not professional at all !!! having checked with dot date and time the 6200 was on a weekend, weekdays around 700-900.... go do some real home work...
June 23, 2011, 10:59 am
Kevin from Flatbush says:
Dear Steve from PPW
I ride over the Manhattan Bridge most days and I am very much not coming from Park Slope or Cobble Gardens.
Or course, many people riding over the Williamsburg are coming from Ridgewood, Maspeth, Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and other neighborhoods, not just Williamsburg and Greenpoint just as many people on the Manhattan Bridge are coming from Crown Heights, Flatbush, Bed-Stuy (again), Midwood, Sunset Park and more.

Sincerly
Kevin from Flatbush (the neighborhood, not the avenue)
June 23, 2011, 11:06 am
Kevin from Flatbush says:
PS.

Abe from Clinton Hill is an idiot.
June 23, 2011, 11:08 am
ty from pps says:
Abe. Perhaps you "checked with DOT," but you don't read very well.

"In 2007 DOT began counting three times a year in May, August and September. The count is performed midweek (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday), and includes a 12-hour count (7a to 7pm) and, since 2007, an 18-hour count (6am to midnight)."

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/bicyclists/nycbicyclescrct.shtml
June 23, 2011, 1:21 pm
p.g. says:
There is a new owner of the bike shop on Lorimer Street. He has really fixed it up!
July 4, 2011, 11 pm
E.j from east williamsburg says:
I have being in most of the Bike Shop in Williamsburg Brooklyn . I found this Bike Shop name Zukkies Bike Shop and let me tell you , this shop has being open for about ten years they have a large inventory with the best prices , the best repair and costumer service and friendly workers .
"a gem"
March 11, 2:21 pm
kevin from Bedford says:
I have to agree with E.J. I will rather ride my fixie to
zukkies shop . they really know what they r doing .
March 11, 2:37 pm
GINA from GREENPOINT says:
YES I also ride my bike to zukkies bike shop
there staff is very knowledgeble . this people really
know what they r doing . and they make you feel like family.
awesome people "

GOOD JOB ZUKKIES!!!!
April 12, 10:33 am

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